02 03 Nerd Lunch: Tales Never Told: The Dukes 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Tales Never Told: The Dukes

PLee's recent pitch for a Doc Savage TV series reminded me of my idea for a Dukes of Hazzard TV series. I've actually got a few of these ideas for tales never told. If I can dig them all out, maybe I'll post more in the future. This idea came to me over seven years ago and predates the movie from four years ago and obviously the prequel movie from a couple years back. So put yourself back in 2002 as you read this.

The Dukes

After being fired from his racing team following a secretive scandalous incident, Luke Duke (Tom Wopat) returns to the farm in Hazzard County once lived on by his Uncle Jesse. Taking this as an excuse to "get away from it all and start over," Luke begins reestablishing himself amongst some old and new faces in the town he once called home. Unfortunately, one familiar face has also returned. Hughie Hogg has found a way to be the "boss" of Hazzard County and his rule is much more nefarious than that of his uncle's.

Meanwhile, Bo's kids and Enos and Daisy's kids find themselves in with the wrong crowd up in the big city. Bo and Daisy think it will do them some good to send them down to live with their "uncle" Luke. They also think it will do Luke some good.

The Duke/Hogg rivalry is reignited at Hazzard High when the Duke clan have a run in with Hughie Hogg's three kids and their crowd. The Dukes' penchant for trouble results in them stealing the original General Lee and wrecking it. Throughout the first season, the General Lee is worked on and will return again at the end of the first season only to be wrecked again.

The show would have aired on Friday nights "after Reba" and would feature guest stars by country singers, NASCAR racers, potentially pro-wrestlers, and perhaps the occasional guest spot by a former cast member. The show would have fit in with the "youthenizing" that the WB is so famous for now. Dawnson's Creek meets original Dukes of Hazzard.

The real focus of the show would be the kids, but the rivalry between Luke and Hughie would be there in the background. The overall theme of the first season would be rebuilding. These kids and Luke are all rebuilding their lives (as they rebuild the original General Lee in the Duke Farm garage) and there are a lot of struggles they have acclimating to their new surroundings. Every character is flawed but each of the Duke side of the cast have a strong sense of justice and nobility that eventually shines (no pun intended) through and leads them being a new team of modern-day Robin Hoods.

I typed up some brief character descriptions of the new kids back in February of 2002 and thanks to my digital packrat nature, I found it and present it here now:

Chet Duke - 19 years old; blonde; respected by the others as the leader of the kids

Lucy Duke - 17 years old; brunette; the biggest troublemaker of the bunch; has trouble committing to anything or anyone; wants to be popular and top of the in-crowd; has aspirations to do something grand, but at the rate she's going she'll wind up working at a Wal-Mart

Trish Strate - 16 years old; blonde; quiet one of the group; incredibly intelligent but doesn't want to study; wants to be an artist; learned gymnastics for a few years and still can do a few tricks

Matthew Strate - 14 years old; brunette; mechanical genius

Back in 2002, I thought the new signature Dukes car could be a then current Monte Carlo painted a metallic orange. On top of the car, an American flag. On the side of the car, the number "02." The name? It would simply be called "The General." That gets rid of the offending elements of the original General Lee. Since 2002, the Dodge Charger has been brought back and that's what I used in the graphic above. I've never been a big car expert so I'm open to ideas here.

One last thing, there would be a balladeer. And if I had my druthers, it would be Shooter Jennings.

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